Lost in the Void
From being Season 2 World Champions Semi-Finalist, to getting 5th in the EU LCS, Alex “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin has seen it all as a League of Legends professional player. Yet, this veteran of LoL is currently in quite the downward spiral.
Alex Ich has played League of Legends professionally since October 2010, yet began to rise in fame a year later under Team Empire which two months later would be acquired by Moscow 5. The name itself brought fear to even Koreans in the peak of this Russian team. With a first place finish in the Season 2 European Regionals and 3-4th place finish in Season 2 World Championship, they had an impressive record. Yet, Moscow 5 was most famous for its ability to consistently revolutionize the meta and win team-fights. The synergy they had was a phenomenon never before seen in LoL E-sports and it felt like this seemingly rag-tag team of Russian players were conquering the world. The famous “feed-to-win” strategy employed by Darien and the jaw-dropping builds by Genja which bordered on insane made it easy for the team to win fans from North America to Korea. Yet, this golden age would not be forever, despite what people hoped.
Moscow 5 became Gambit Gaming at the start of the year 2013. They still were a great team, and had good performances in IEM Katowice and Season 3 Spring Split. Nevertheless, after Edward left, the team lost some of its shine. No longer were they consistently great, but also experienced dips in performance. Many still feared the Russian boot camp but sometimes the team just simply failed to meet the expectations put in place by their fans. By 2014, the situation was looking very grim and no longer was it a slow decay but instead had turned into an exponentially worsening situation.
On May 3rd, 2014 Alex Ich publicly revealed his departure from Gambit. Fans were stunned, and many people felt this was what killed Gambit. Alex Ich, the icon of Gambit, had left, and who was going to replace such a world-class player (Especially considering the team was Russian, and not all it’s members spoke fluent English) . In the same month, Alex Ich joined NiP, but now he was playing as a top-laner. NiP had not been able join the ranks of the LCS for quite some time, but many people still had hopes that the roster of Alex Ich, Nukeduck, k0u, Mithy and Freeze would go far. Yet, disaster struck when a few days later Nukeduck, and Mithy were banned for toxic behaviour. NiP, with two of their LCS-caliber team-mates gone, tried to make the best out of the situation, but in a few months disbanded. Alex Ich, once again, found himself in search of a new team.
Alex Ich was quick to find another group of players willing to play with him, for many still considered him one of the best at his job. This time the team was no longer under an organization but the team still packed quite the punch with their quality players. With names like Creaton, Kev1n, and Impaler the team seemed good enough to enter the LCS. Yet, after only 15 days the team disbanded. Rumours said that Impaler felt the team was neither trying hard enough nor communicating effectively in the game. Alex Ich found himself left in the dust after being part of teams people hyped up so much.
So where is Alex Ich now? Well, nowhere. Alex Ich has publicly stated that he would be willing to return to Gambit or join any professional team willing to take his family. Yet, thats exactly the problem. If a team wants Alex Ich they will have to pay him enough to support his family and be able to have them live in the same area. Not only that, but many professionals do not consider Alex Ich to be top tier anymore. Nukeduck when asked in his ask.fm “Is Alex good enough for LCS ?” replied “yes but by a small margin”. Hes still LCS caliber but no longer is he world-class, or at least he hasn’t proved himself since he left Gambit. Of course, Alex Ich might be under private negotiations to join a LCS team, but until now only silence has been the response to Alex Ich’s requests.
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